The Best Intramural

PC: Britni Conrad

PC: Britni Conrad

You Heard It Here Last


Upon reading the title of this article, you likely thought of your favorite intramural sport or tried to guess mine.

But before you make up your mind, I ought to clarify this article is about what the best intramural is, not the best sport played in intramurals (which comes down to personal preference rather than any sense of objectivity.)

I present to you that the best intramural is actually floor hockey. And before you get too defensive about your particular favorite, let me tell you why. First of all, hockey is coed. This gives everyone a chance to fairly compete and contribute to a championship that ultimately comes with campus-wide bragging rights.

Sadly, due to the ever-decreasing participation levels in women’s intramurals (basketball and football, specifically) there’s little pride for the women that “win” the championship in these sports, since for the past two years there have only been two girls teams competing in each.

This immediately eliminates these two sports, leaving volleyball, soccer and hockey as candidates for best overall intramural. My second criterion for choosing a sport is its level of individuality. 

To be a great intramural, the sport has to be team-oriented, since having one person who’s simply more talented than everyone else makes a sport less fun for everyone involved (including that person, unless they are happy to revel in success without companionship.) 

I would argue that of the three, soccer has the highest potential to be individually dominated. My biggest gripe with Union soccer (intramurals, class games and world cup) has always been the tendency of many players to want to play “hero-ball.” 

This style of play is often less successful in hockey due to the smallness of the court and the ability for defenders to successfully stop it. 

And in volleyball, a team must be good in all three phases and because one person typically only gets to do one phase per possession, hero-ball only exists when a great server goes on a run. 

Thus, it comes down to hockey and volleyball. My final criterion is playability: how easy is it to bring someone in who has never played before and get them to contribute? 

Hockey wins this in a landslide; if someone is willing to hustle and simply try to take the puck away, they can play hockey.v Volleyball has a much steeper learning curve; it takes a good bit of time to learn how to serve, bump, set or spike. 

If you don’t believe me, hockey sign ups are soon. I’d encourage you to give it a try. I’d be willing to bet you’ll enjoy it as much as I have. 

Tyler Dean is a senior studying finance and math.